Three in Four Americans Concerned About Ebola Outbreak

Three in Four Americans Concerned About Ebola Outbreak

Nearly three in four Americans are concerned about an Ebola outbreak and nearly half of Americans believe the Obama administration is not doing enough to prevent a potential outbreak. 

An Economist/YouGov poll, taken before Thomas Eric Duncan died of Ebola on Wednesday, found that 72 percent of Americans are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about an Ebola outbreak, including a third who are “very” concerned compared to 17 percent who were in August. Black Americans are more concerned than whites, with 40 percent of African-Americans saying they are “very concerned about the possibility of an epidemic here.” Senior citizens are also more concerned than the public, with 40 percent saying they are “very concerned.”

The poll also found that 75 percent of Americans “are following news about the Ebola case in Texas closely” while “a third say they are following it very closely.” In August, only 16 percent of Americans were following the news about the Ebola outbreak closely. 

On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced it would increase screening at five airports — but nearly half the public (46 percent) thinks the Obama administration is not doing enough to combat the outbreak, according to the poll. A CNN medical reporter recently was aghast at the lax airport screening procedures when she came back from an Ebola reporting assignment in Liberia.  

The poll was conducted October 4-6 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points.

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